I have recently returned from a trip back home. True to the promise I had made to myself (and to some others) ahead of travelling there, I used some of my time to de-clutter my parents’ apartment.

I managed to get through most the possessions I had stored in the bedroom and that I had gathered during my student and high school years, mostly books, clothes and other items.

Going through those things one at a time revived all the years I had spent living and studying in my parents’ apartment and in Bucharest. A period of about 13 years played in my mind. Every English grammar book took me back to secondary school or high school, when I delved deep into the language. Every novel reminded me of reading lists I had in high school. Class notes and coursework reminded me of literature and language classes at the School of Foreign Languages, as well as of the more economics-focused classes I attended at the school where I studied for my second degree.

Pieces of jewellery I had left at home when I moved to London in 2011 reminded me of their existence, the times that I used to wear them, and also of the fact that it was time to let some of them go.

A wardrobe full of clothes I used to wear in high school, at university or that I had been sending back home made me think that you can tell a person’s life story through the clothes that they have worn or still wear and the circumstances in which they have done so. It also made me think that I (may) have spent too much money on clothes up to this point in time and that, as people, we are in danger of gathering too many objects as time passes.

I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I had left behind. The thought made me renew my commitment to stop buying and bringing so many things into my life and to continue de-cluttering on a constant basis both where I am at the moment (London) as well as whenever I go back home. I am not sure I will be able to get my mom to see things from my point of view, but I think it is worth the try.

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